Richard’s Almanac: an ideal meal

RICHARD LOMUSCIO PHOTO Guests at the Senior Center got crafty during a silk scarf making workshop.

silk scarf workshop was held at the Senior Activity Center recently. Some 15 seniors participated. The workshop guided seniors through the process of creating their own scarves. Some now have their own hand-painted articles of clothing. A variety of different techniques with examples was provided by the instructor, Lorraine Pepper.

Other Senior Center news includes the setting of “Immunization Day.” It will happen during Memorial Day week with the exact date pending, according to Director Laurie Fanelli. A Rite Aid pharmacist will be administering the shingles vaccine (Shingrix) along with vaccines for tetanus, pneumonia and influenza.

According to Ms. Fanelli, the CDC recommends Shingrix as the preferred vaccine over Zostavax for healthy adults 50 and older.

“Your prescription drug card and date of birth are needed by the pharmacist in order to determine the cost because not every plan pays the full cost,” Ms. Fanelli said. Call the Senior Center at (631) 749-1059 to register.

Meanwhile I was reading a recent issue of the AARP magazine and noticed a piece about meals in a bowl. The article says that lunch and dinner bowls are “the rage at trendy restaurants” and offers some suggestions about how to make them at home. Well, I have been doing this for some time while cooking for myself and preparing these one bowl meals helps me use up what’s in the fridge.

One that I find particularly easy and nourishing at the same time is my bowl of rice with everything in it.

I’ll get leftover steak or chicken, cut into small pieces. Then find some celery, carrots and an olive or two and some leftover green pepper. I’ll chop up all these vegetables and sauté everything. If there are a few pieces of broccoli or cauliflower they can be added also. Put this mixture with the beef or chicken or a chopped-up leftover pork chop over a bowl of cooked rice. I like the boil-in bag variety for convenience.

Then I’ll sprinkle liberally with soy sauce and tabasco and mix it up. I put a handful of peanuts over the top and it’s ready to enjoy.

I realize that I have been following the accepted strategy for preparing one bowl meals. Use a base ingredient like the rice. Quinoa, bulgar and pasta are also used. Then add a lean protein like cooked meat or eggs. Vegetables, sauces and garnishes finish it up.

Mine has an Asian tone to it but there are other themes possible like Italian or Middle Eastern. Let your imagination be your guide.

But I do have to have bread with mine — some good crisp French or Italian bread.

These one bowl meals are particularly handy after working all day in the yard. This past weekend gave us a taste of what the good weather will bring. There’s a feeling in the warm air that makes us just want to jump outside and begin yard projects.

Sometime we try to do too much at once. Take your time otherwise you’ll have aches and pains for the next few weeks. I remember when I twisted my neck getting into the cabin of a sailboat and it would not go away, I went to the doctor who told me that “as we get older, it takes pains longer to go away.”

I always try to be mindful of those words as I do my outside projects, which invariably involve heavy lifting and twisting and lugging power tools.

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